I was born and raised during my early years in Los Angeles, and spent the first many years of my life there. I don’t really think Los Angeles is all that special, however the Sangat/Community that I lived with and the Gurdwara IS something special. Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles is historical in many ways. It is pretty much the birth place for Sikhs of western background. This is where many thousands of people came, were inspired, and became Sikhs. Since the early 70’s this Gurdwara and sangat has been a focal point for many "seekers"….and is a place to treasure.
If you have ever been to Guru Ram Das Ashram, you’ll know that it is quite small and cozy (unlike your average Gurdwara which is stadium sized and you can get lost in). There is no langar hall, so after Gurdwara sheets are put down and people have langar on the sidewalk in the front. It’s a very humble and beautiful Gurdwara that I suggest you visit if you are ever in the Los Angeles are. There is some amazing art work, sculptures, and beautiful carvings. Check out some pictures that someone took of the Gurdwara.
This small historical and beautiful Gurdwara is in need of expansion in order to have more space for people. The next door house is for sale and the community would like to expand the Gurdwara. This is not your average "Give money to expand the Gurdwara" request. Normally I feel that many Gurdwara expansion projects are so wasteful and unnecessary, however this project in my opinion is something special and well worth supporting (even if you have never been there or don’t live in Los Angeles).
You can watch the below video which tells a bit about the Gurdwara and the project.
If you feel so inspired, you can help support the Gurdwara by making a contribution by going to www.gururamdasashram.org and clicking on the donation button at the bottom of the page.
Some comments about the Gurdwara from my mother:
"Satnam ji, This has always been my Gurdwara. I arrived in LA in 1973 when the property had just been purchased.
I was married in that Gurdwara. I was in charge of the Siri Akandh Paths for many years even after the birth of our son Guru Mustuk Singh (mrsikhnet). Then I became Guru Granthi. During difficult times I went daily to GRDA and did a 2 1/2 hour singing recitation of the shabd DHAN DHAN RAM DAS GUR….savoring the amazing healing vibrations of that amazing space, I continued daily for 2 years nonstop. Like the Golden Temple it is VERY small but the magnitude of the peace embodied inside is also beyond description. Having gone to the Golden Temple in 1973 and been transformed there…Guru Ram Das Gurdwara of LA has has always felt the same degree of cosmic power.
So much history is embodied there….the coming of Yogi Harbhajan SIngh to USA, our first Amrit Sanchars, all the famous Ragi’s of those times have played there, the Jathadars have grace it and the daily meditation of our growing families of Western Sikhs have assembled there for classes and Katha with Yogi ji later to be known as Siri Singh Sahib ji. He would come to bow every day in the morning and in the evening.
Many people of the sangat would create the doors, the artwork inside and all around the building, the etched windows, the engraved marble plaque of Shabd Hazare inside, the lazer ruby beaming from the heart of the Silver relief Guru Ram Das, the daily cleaning, the daily morning Sadhana Gurdwara’s, the 6th of the month Gurdwara’s, the Guru Purab’s, every part of this sacred space has been made so through the seva and donations and love of Sadh Sangat members.
We have NO paid employees, All kirtanees, and Granthi’s and sevadars are totally volunteer and from our community. There are no elections of officers, only volunteers are there to serve this sacred space.
Guru Mustuk Singh was born just around the corner from Guru Ram Das Gurdwara. When he was an infant he would be crawling inside on the beautiful oriental carpets there and later selling his old toys outside the Gurdwara after langar…(he was earning his pocket money) or marching in our Guru Gaddi Day parade with the children on the birthday of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
I love this place and hold it deeply in my heart and meditation. When I first came to NY in 1992 I would meditate as being back there again as well as at the Golden Temple. I am so happy to know that Guru Ram Das Gurdwara will soon have a LANGAR. We have always used someone’s kitchen for this prep and taken turns cooking a portion of the langar at different people’s homes. This will be a landmark after 35 years of existence. Wahe Guru God bless you all for your consideration. Please come to visit soon. Blessings with love and appreciation, SatKirin Kaur Khalsa"